Tag Archive | Christmas

Happy Christmas!!!

Happy Christmas everyone!

I hope you have some truly happy times over Christmas and much joy and peace in the year 2014 to come!

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There are many lovely Christmas things I would like to tell you about …

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We decorated our tree with two of L’s work colleges, along with our own mulled wine and festive snacks …

I’ve been finding (with a little help from the husband!), sewing, sticking, painting and wrapping Christmas gifts for friends and family …

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I held a Gingerbread Party for my friends and my sisters …

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… we had so much fun decorating gingerbread men that my friend A and myself had made!

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My personal favourite was Eve – complete with a little red apple in her hand! Go C!! πŸ˜‰

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I cooked up a two course Christmas meal just for my hubby and I, with inspiration from the latest Masterchef The Professionals Series … although thank goodness I’m not being judged on the final result!! πŸ˜›

(Pickled Beetroot with Grilled Goats Cheese and Walnuts, followed by Shin of Beef braised in Red Wine, with Bacon-wrapped Potato Cakes, Roasted Shallots and tenderstem broccoli.)

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I baked, fed with brandy, iced and decorated three Christmas cakes for friends and family …

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And we got to attended the lovely Christmas wedding of two wonderful, God-loving friends and celebrate with their blood and church families!

My faithful little camera broke and although L thankfully has one he never uses, it is taking quite a bit of getting used to – hence the lack of photos! πŸ˜› Our internet connection is also playing around, so I can’t always upload/download things when I want to …

If this was not the case, you would have had more photos and blog posts from me … I miss talking to you!

My first resolution for next year: learn how to use L’s camera so it takes photos I like!!

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Have times of much love with your families, peace in the midst of trouble, happiness in the small things, joy in the greatest gift of all time and the hope of things to come!!

Our love,

Mr and Mrs Moose

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Mince Pies

Many times in the last few months, not to mention over the last number of years, I have expressed my opinion on mince pies being in the supermarket far too early … I have said that you shouldn’t eat your first mince pie of the season until it’s December.

Yesterday I ate my first mince pie for this Christmas.

I know! I know! How inconsistent can I be, right?

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But these weren’t any ordinary mince pies! No shop-bought or Mr Kipling varieties here!

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These were homemade mince pies, which I made with my three sisters. The pastry was made by my youngest sister T, who makes melt-in-the-mouth short crust pastry.

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The mincemeat we used in the pies was made by my older sister J, who chopped the apples, finely sliced the almonds and stirred in the currants herself.

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We rolled out, cut out, filled and topped each mince pie between the four of us.

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They were dusted with icing sugar as soon as they came out of the oven – or Aga in my family’s case … wish I had one of those to keep my flat toasty warm! πŸ˜‰

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We ate the mince pies in front of the cosy wood burner, while they were still warm and fresh out of the oven, while sitting on the hearth-rug and chatting.

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Mince Pie Heaven!

Now don’t you think I’m forgiven for eating my first mince pie before the 1st of December?!

Meet …

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… Rosie the Owl!

I finished sewing Rosie last night and at the end of November she will be going home to a small friend of mine who’s going to turn three!

Rosie has flappable wings, button eyes, a beak that lifts up and down and cute heart buttons on her front. She is also soft and cuddly and hopefully just the right size for little hands.

I’m sure that Rosie will get a new name all her own and I hope she’ll be a part of many exciting adventures created by G!

Until then, I’m enjoying having Rosie’s cute face around and am starting on some owl-friends for my niece and god-daughter.

So grateful to my lovely honorary-mum for the wonderful pattern, adapted with the help of brilliant advice from hubby and friends! πŸ˜‰

The Lord Of The Rings

Yesterday night L and I finished reading a book I’ve been reading out loud to us for a while.

Not just any book, mind you.

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We finished reading The Lord Of The Rings!

I first bought this book about 4 years ago, on a mission to read classic books that most(ish) people have read/watched or at least know the basics of. The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings were some of the first I picked up in charity shops or in this case, a read and return shop – yeah, this one never got returned and exchanged for a different book!! πŸ˜‰

I was about 1/2-2/3rd through The Hobbit when I went home for Christmas with L, just a couple of months after we started dating. He got a sicky bug while we were at his parents and I offered to read to him – what about The Hobbit?

That was the start of a tradition for us and after finishing The Hobbit we started on The Lord Of The Rings. As any of you who have read this book will know, it’s quite a hefty volume and quite a bit more involved than the lighter Hobbit!

We have been reading this book together on and off for the last 3 1/2 years, with other books sprinkled in-between … it is well-travelled, well-loved, a little worse for wear when you look closely … but it has brought us so many hours of enjoyment!

I can honestly say that The Lord Of The Rings is one of the best books I have ever read!! I don’t know if I would have had the self-discipline to slog through the slightly heavier middle bits, but thanks to reading it with L, we have conquered!!

Autumn is here because …

I put on a pair of fluffy slipper socks tonight.

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I cooked this Sausage, Leek and Cider Stew last night.

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I cuddled up in my slanket this week for the first time since the spring.

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My laundry is taking twice as long to dry as it did a matter of weeks ago.

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I’m wearing my well-loved monkey slippers around the house.

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I’ve dug my long socks out from the bottom of my drawer … and remembered why I thought I needed to buy some new ones!

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My head is starting to buz with thoughts about starting on homemade Christmas presents.

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My strippy hat has been reinstated as a daily fashion essential – I don’t think it’s actually that fashionable, but I’m wearing it regardless! πŸ˜‰

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It’s less then a month until my birthday.

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Oh yeah, did I mention something about the arrival of cold weather?! πŸ˜‰

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12 Pictures of My Christmas

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A month or so ago I mixed up a Christmas cake for my Grandparents – Apricot and Brandy, from a brilliant recipe that let’s you choose your own combination but still comes out wonderfully moist!

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I wrapped the cake and fed it twice with brandy, keeping it the dark bottom of my wardrobe …

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… and tonight, after a minor-ish slip-up :P, I covered and decorated the cake ready for delivery tomorrow!

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On the 9th of December we had friends round for Mulled Wine and Mince Pies …

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… and to help us put up and decorate our Christmas tree – a tradition we love repeating every year, so much fun!!

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We had a Lady of Light!

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I grew a tinsel beard … as you do! πŸ˜‰

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Our tree-builders relaxed with a glass of L and I’s special home-brew Mulled Wine – a little more potent than the ready-bottles but oh-so-yummy! πŸ˜›

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Our lovely Lady of Light made us gingerbread cookie decorations to hang on our tree – a really sweet and thoughtful Christmas gift!! Maybe I’ll just go and have a little nibble … πŸ˜‰

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S took a Christmas photo of my hubby and I for us! πŸ™‚

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Some close friends of ours are getting to adopt kids next year, so for D’s birthday party (which being on the 22nd December always feels like the start of Christmas to me!), they asked us each to bring an ornament to put on their tree, which they can tell their kids came from their friends – what an awesome idea is that?! I am so excited that they are soon to become parents and loved making a tree decoration for them!

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A few nights ago I settled into a three-hour plus marathon of present wrapping! I genuinely enjoy wrapping presents, but when it comes to Christmas, even I need to do the wrapping with the company of a film! πŸ˜‰ I chose Magnolia – if you haven’t watched it: do!!

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For my last photo, because I’m a die-hard believer in a Baker’s Dozen (notice the mention L?!) … by tomorrow evening this little pile of presents will be sitting underneath my lovely in-law’s Christmas tree, waiting for the morning …

Have a very Happy Christmas and a most Blessed New Year!!!

The Christmas Tag!

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The very lovely Lauren, who writes over at You Big Eejit, tagged me in this fun Christmas meme! (It’s awful I know, but I’ve only just fully grasped exactly what a “meme” is, I just ignored the word when taking part in one …! πŸ˜‰ ) Lauren knows I’m always game for taking part in one and I’m particularly pleased to be a part of this Christmas tag! Thank you Lauren! πŸ™‚

Apart from half a dozen somewhat hazy Christmases when I was little and a relatively untraditional Christmas lunch with my Grandparents every year, I have very little history when it comes to celebrating Christmas. My parents and sisters don’t celebrate Christmas themselves and haven’t since I was roughly 6 or 7, so all my knowledge of customs, traditions and the religious significance behind the celebrations has come from my Grandparents agnostic and down-played Christmas Day and from reading books and the internet and listening to other people’s experiences.

That all changed for me when I moved out on my own, started dating and than married L. Christmas is now a fixed part of my year and I have very much enjoyed starting our own traditions and collecting memories! I still have that feeling that I have a lot to catch up on, so every year I try to make the most out of every element of Christmas – which definitely includes my own little Christmas series on my blog! πŸ™‚

What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?
Hmm, now that’s a difficult one! I love having over a few friends who to help L and I put up and decorate our Christmas tree, with the help of some mulled wine and mince pies – definitely a part of Christmas I look forward to each year! I enjoy going to our church’s Carol Service and hearing the choir they put together for it every year. I love the moment when my Mum-in-law opens the front door on Christmas Eve and welcomes us inside her lovely warm home for the Christmas week, all softly lit and filled with the gorgeous smells of her home-cooked supper, ready to give us big hugs, welcome kisses, a glass of wine and help us feel like we really have come home for Christmas! Late on Christmas Eve we set off for the Minster (a particular kind of old English Church) and go to the near-midnight carol and communion service with a real choir and candles – amazing!!! And seeing the smile of contentment on my Mum-in-law’s face as she looks round at all her family in her home!

What is your favourite make-up look for the festive season?
Umm … I guess I only end up wearing make-up about a dozen times a year, give and take! After a first try, I’ve never worn anything other than eye-liner/shadow, mascara and lip-gloss. I just hate the feeling of anything rubbed all over my face! Christmas is a time when I wear make-up almost daily, but pretty minimalist: a little of some soft earthy browns, blues or greens eye-shadow that have some glitter/shimmer, black eye-liner underneath to give some depth, a touch of dark mascara and sometimes a bit of very pale-pink lip gloss with some light shimmer in it … that’s me done!

Real or fake tree?
I love real trees! The smell, the natural look, the idea … however, I hate the mess they make!! πŸ˜› L and I have a very small flat and we always go to his parent’s for a week over Christmas, so a real tree would be a waste. We have a very tall and thin fake tree that we put up with our friends and just fits our space. Once we’re home for the week, L’s Mum has a real tree that she decorates beautifully each year – it looks and smells absolutely amazing!! So really, we get the best of both worlds!! πŸ˜‰

Giving presents orΒ receivingΒ them?
Ha! Who doesn’t like getting presents, right?! L hints at my gifts for a few weeks before, so I’m always bursting to find out what he got me when we get to the day – and he does get me wonderful presents! I think though that giving presents just tops receiving them for me – I just love planning gifts for each person, thinking what they will like, making and/or buying the presents while imagining what the person’s face will (hopefully!) look like when they open it and being able to give joy and pleasure to those I love! I am very excited about my Mum-in-law’s gift this Christmas, as I know already that she is going to adore it! I just hope she doesn’t cry …

Do you open your presents on Christmas morning or evening?
Morning, definitely! We all come down in our pjs and dressing gowns and squeeze onto the sofas between the tree and the wood-burning stove. One or two of us act as distributor and dole out the presents in piles, then the attack really begins! We usually have glasses of bucks fizz and hotΒ volovants for our breakfast during gift opening. Eeeeee!! Getting excited now! πŸ˜›

Handmade Christmas cards or bought?
I try to make as many card as I can, using Christmas paper and stickers I buy on sale in January. I keep them really simple, but I still have not yet managed to make all the cards myself, so they get supplemented with bought cards … I try!! πŸ˜› I make most of the Christmas presents myself, so I feel it just about balances out! πŸ˜‰

What’s your favourite Christmas film?
Ooh, this is a hard one … I don’t know that I really have a favourite Christmas film. I haven’t actually seen that many I don’t think – I saw The Snowman as a kid, It’s A Wonderful Life (hopefully never again!!), The Grinch and Love Actually. Although I’m not into girly films that much, I do usually watch Love Actually at this time of year!

What’s your favourite Christmas food?
So much of it is so yummy!! My Mum-in-law is an amazing cook and always does a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings – yum-tastic!! I love Boxing Day Food! The potatoes and vegetable made into bubble-and-squeak, cold turkey and baked ham, lots of yummy cheeses, chutney, fresh bread, sometimes a meat pie too – I do love that meal!! Maybe that’s my favourite? Hmm. You know what, I shall pay careful attention to my food over this Christmas and make a decision on what my favourite is, ok?! πŸ˜‰

 

I am going to pass The Christmas Tag onto these three lovely bloggers:

Just Live It!

Reinventing The We’ll

Happiness Stan Lives Here

I hope you guys enjoy doing this as much as I did! πŸ™‚